Details from National Park Services:
Enjoy the peace and serenity of this elusive environment and experience what the animals that live in the area see at night. Join a ranger for a full moon hike and see firsthand how these animals survive in the dunes. Full moon hikes are offered once a month on the night before the full moon. Please see schedule below.
When: Offered only once a month, on the night before the full moon, from May through October. *Schedule is subject to change. Activities may be canceled.
2019 Full Moon Hike Schedule:
- Friday, May 17 at 7:45 p.m.
- Sunday, June 16 at 8:00 p.m.
- Monday, July 15 at 8:00 p.m.
- Tuesday, August 14 at 7:45 p.m.
- Friday, September 13 at 7:00 p.m.
- Saturday, October 12 at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Pre-registered participants will meet the ranger at the Dune Life Nature Trail, a 2.3-mile (3.7 km) drive from the fee station, 30 minutes before the program begins. Once at the trailhead, a ranger will direct you on how and where to park your vehicle.If your name is not on the ranger's list, you will not be allowed to participate in the program.
Tour check-in begins 30-minutes before program start time at the Dune Life Nature Trail. The hike will begin promptly at the stated start time. If you arrive after rangers have left the trailhead, you will not be to join the hike.
Cost: In addition to the monument entrance fees, a special program fee of $8 per person ages 16 and older and $4 per child ages 15 and younger also apply. Federal passes such as the America the Beautiful Annual, Senior, and Access passes apply only to the entrance fees and do not cover the special program fee. Monument entrance fees and camping fees are non-refundable.
Program length: One hour
Safety Information: Participants must stay with the group and be physically capable of walking a total of one mile (1.6 km) in the dunes.
Children must stay close to parents. This is a night hike, and it is extremely easy to become lost once separated from the group.
Be prepared for varying temperatures and weather conditions. You may need a hat, jacket, and gloves. The temperature drops quickly as the sun goes down.
Closed-toe shoes are required.
One liter of water per person is recommended.
Flashlights, headlamps, and flash photography are not allowed.
.While photography is allowed and encouraged, no tripods or flash photography will be allowed. To preserve everyone's night vision and program experience, flashlights or headlamps are also not allowed.
Young Children: Due to moderate to difficult conditions (i.e., darkness, rough trail) on this program, it is not recommended to bring young children and infants on the Full Moon Hike. This trail is not stroller-accessible.
Fitness: The Dune Life Nature Trail is rated as moderate. It requires hikers to climb two steep dunes and walk on soft sand. The trail starts down on the desert plain and is level for the first 300 yards before going up a steep slope onto the sand dunes. The trail is one mile (1.61 km) long. You must be able to hike the entire trail. The group must stay together for safety concerns. No one is permitted to leave the program early return to the parking area by themselves.
Accessibility: If you have night blindness or have a difficult time seeing outdoors at night, this hike is not recommended as flashlights and headlamps are not allowed. Due to the steepness of the slopes, this program is not wheelchair or stroller accessible.It is not recommended for those with impaired mobility or health concerns.
Service animals are allowed in all monument facilities open to the general public.
Restrooms: Vault toilets are located at the trailhead area.
Pets are allowed as long as they are non-disruptive, on a leash no longer than six feet (2 m), and are under physical control at all times. Pets, like humans, should leave only footprints. Pick up after your pet(s) and Leave No Trace. Pets are not allowed in the visitor center.
Programs may be canceled due to weather or missile range activities. Weather at the monument can vary drastically and change quickly. The decision to cancel a program due to weather is rarely made more than 30 minutes before the program start time. Call the monument at 575-479-6124 ext. 236 if you would like to confirm that a program is still scheduled. If the program is canceled, it will not be re-scheduled. Monument entrance fees and camping fees are non-refundable.
Reservations are required for this program and must be made through Recreation.gov or by calling (1-877-444-6777). You can make reservations up to one month in advance of the program. Tour fees apply and will be charged by recreation.gov. Monument entrance fees also apply and will be charged at the monument.
For reservations, please note that only one vehicle per reservation is permitted to due limited parking and only five people per reservation are permitted. The full moon hike is limited to 40 individuals.
Cancellations must be made by calling Recreation.gov at 1-877-444-6777 at least 24 hours in advance of program. Cancellations cannot be processed by monument staff.
Carpooling: Parking for programs is very limited. Please carpool with friends and family. If you plan to ride with friends and need to drive separate cars, please consider meeting at a location in Alamogordo and then driving to the monument together in one vehicle. Only one vehicle per reservation is allowed.